Vehicle Assessment Signatory Scheme (VASS)

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 22:28
ThreadID: 131859 Views:5715 Replies:10 FollowUps:13
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"What is a VASS?
The Vehicle Assessment Signatory Scheme (VASS) is a scheme for the certification of modified, imported and individually constructed vehicles in Victoria.

VASS aims to ensure all modified, imported and individually constructed vehicles meet standards for registration. A VASS Approval Certificates can only be issued by an approved VASS signatory.

If you're thinking about building your own vehicle (i.e. an individually constructed vehicle) or modifying a vehicle, discuss your plan with a VASS signatory before you start."
This is an extract from the Vic Roads web site.

Today I was talking to Vic Roads about a registration issue with my new Isuzu D-Max. I happened to mention that I was intending to put a slide-on camper on the back. She then asked me if I had an Engineer's Certificate to do that. I said if the vehicle is within the axle limits and GVM why do you need an Engineer's Certificate. She replied that if a vehicle has a sleeping and cooking capacity it is classified as a motor home and requires an Engineer's Certificate. I then contacted a registered VASS engineer and he confirmed that a vehicle configured as I was intending to do would require a Certificate which he was authorised to do, minimum cost $440. He then went on to give a fairly long list of things he was required to check before issuing such a Certificate.

Has anyone who has a slide on camper, or has a vehicle setup with sleeping and cooking facilities obtained such a certificate, and if so, how difficult has it to obtain, and what did it cost.\?
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 23:13

Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 23:13
News to me Chris. Sounds like another money making enterprise by the establishment?

When we picked ours up, 3 years ago tomorrow as it turns out, the maker made a comment about the gas set up not requiring a gas certificate because it wasn't a "fixed" installation. Utilises a flexible hose, and the cylinder can be situated anywhere. Not aware of any other certificates required.

Bob

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Reply By: Bob R4 - Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 23:17

Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 23:17
Sounds like we need a long stick to prop open our pockets so the bastards can get deeper into them.
Mmmm.

Bob
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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Friday, Mar 18, 2016 at 01:31

Friday, Mar 18, 2016 at 01:31
A question clearly for the respective slide on manufacturers to answer.

I would have thought since it's not a permanent part of the vehicle it wouldn't require a VASS.


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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Friday, Mar 18, 2016 at 08:02

Friday, Mar 18, 2016 at 08:02
I agree. I would be interested to hear what they say.

Also wouldn't it be bolted on and therefore become a "modification". When we insured the 100 series I mentioned a roof rack and they asked if it was bolted on. Same for the front and rear bars and fridge and drawer system.

An excellent prospect for any "ambulance chaser".

Phil
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Reply By: LandCoaster - Friday, Mar 18, 2016 at 01:38

Friday, Mar 18, 2016 at 01:38
nahhhh, that can't be right for a slide on.

It's a slide-on, it's only on there temporarily, perhaps that was the word missing in the conversation, "temporarily".

Return the brain-frack to them both by ringing them back and saying "it's just going to be a temporary motorhome". Would love to see the look on there faces...lol..
AnswerID: 597467

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Friday, Mar 18, 2016 at 08:05

Friday, Mar 18, 2016 at 08:05
Isn't that the same as "sliding on" a cattle crate to a truck?

Hmmmm

Phil
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Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Friday, Mar 18, 2016 at 07:51

Friday, Mar 18, 2016 at 07:51
For those with an interest in New South Wales, the following is an extract from the Vehicle standards information bulletin (8 November, 2013) – Light Vehicle Modifications

I won't comment on Victoria other than to say I doubt they will be too far out of step, so it might be worth checking (again)…



Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Reply By: vk1dx - Friday, Mar 18, 2016 at 08:12

Friday, Mar 18, 2016 at 08:12
It's no wonder that the legal profession is pre-empted by years of study with a lot of that time is spent chasing up "previous cases" of the same issue.

As they say in the classics "The devil is in the detail".

I wonder what VASS, or any other state authority, would say about a roof top tent! It is bolted to the roof rack, and the roof rack is bolted to the car.

I see that a pop top van was mentioned above, but there is a difference. I'm not game to ask. But then we know several excellent people in the legal profession.

What about the "bed" extension we have for the drawer system which carries a mattress when I go bush alone without my wife. r vice-versa.

Yep The devil is a real bugger.

Phil
AnswerID: 597475

Reply By: Idler Chris - Friday, Mar 18, 2016 at 16:07

Friday, Mar 18, 2016 at 16:07
UPDATE.
I have rung several slide on manufacturers and none of them believe a trayback camper requires an Engineer's Certificate. I have again rung a VASS engineer and asked the simple question what law have I broken if I do not have an Engineers Certificate, when I am taken to Court what will the charge sheet say. I could not get a straight answer to the question.

It is quite clear that in NSW you do not need an Engineers Certificate, thanks Baz. Mention this to anyone in Victoria and they say that is irrelevant in Victoria. I have come to the conclusion that there is no clear answer, and that any authority would be hard pressed to charge you with an offence that would stand up in Court. If challenged I will say show me the legislation and the law that I have allegedly broken, I think it will become to hard for them.

So I will bolt my camper to the tray and rely on my silver tongue and charm to get me out of any trouble with any authority should it arise.
What other people think of me is none of my business.
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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Friday, Mar 18, 2016 at 17:33

Friday, Mar 18, 2016 at 17:33
Chris, I believe you were only transporting the slide on and restrained it with bolts rather than ratchet straps. Good to see safety first.
If it was going for a roadworthy and they knocked it back it would just be a matter of taking it off and representing it.

To me it is just another load.
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Follow Up By: Zippo - Friday, Mar 18, 2016 at 18:08

Friday, Mar 18, 2016 at 18:08
Register it in NSW?
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Follow Up By: LandCoaster - Friday, Mar 18, 2016 at 20:51

Friday, Mar 18, 2016 at 20:51
probably a good idea to also check with your insurer
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Friday, Mar 18, 2016 at 21:36

Friday, Mar 18, 2016 at 21:36
They are insured separately, so do not see a problem.
What other people think of me is none of my business.
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Saturday, Mar 19, 2016 at 08:58

Saturday, Mar 19, 2016 at 08:58
Our RTT is bolted to the car and insured as an accessory with the car.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Saturday, Mar 19, 2016 at 09:29

Saturday, Mar 19, 2016 at 09:29
I had my 2015 build Toyota GXL 100 series insured for an agreed value of $63,000. And when I wrote it off last year they paid me the agreed value. On my policy I had listed most of the things I had added including the Hanibal RTT. That was mainly because for the first three years of its life the payout was total replacement with a new vehicle and any accessories named in the policy. Notwithstanding that the RTT was named in the policy there was a doubt in the first three years that it would be replaced as it can be argued that it is camping equipment and not an accessory, or a structural or permanent part of the vehicle. Phil, in your case, and I think we have spoken about this before, its best to have your vehicle insured for an agreed value, because that sets the payout figure in the event of total loss. When I wrote my vehicle off the assessor came and his first comment was the $63,000 was well above the market value to that vehicle. I described to him the heavy maintenance schedule to keep the vehicle totally reliable for remote travel and all the accessories that had been added, he understood all that and there was no issue and the agreed value was paid in full and very quickly I might add. (CGU was the insurance company)
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Saturday, Mar 19, 2016 at 10:20

Saturday, Mar 19, 2016 at 10:20
A good outcome mate. I wonder how it would have gone if the "accessories" were not listed. Maybe only get the "market" value of the car. It is easy to get them listed, so why not actually go to the trouble and put them on record as part of the car. It can't hurt.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Saturday, Mar 19, 2016 at 10:40

Saturday, Mar 19, 2016 at 10:40
Agreed value is agreed value. They agree with you a value, once agreed thats it. I agree that you should list all the accessories. To get the insurance company to agree to a value of $63,000 I had to explain how I got to that figure before they would agree with it. You are not supposed to profit from insurance so as long there a reasonably basis to the agreed value the insurance company would not be able to not honour it.
What other people think of me is none of my business.
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Reply By: swampy - Saturday, Mar 19, 2016 at 10:43

Saturday, Mar 19, 2016 at 10:43
Hi
with any question about modified vehicles ,never ever talk to the desk clerk and organize a meeting with the manager . Even then they refer to there legal dept .
case 1 registering a vehicle from interstate that's been rebuilt from 3 wrecks
sorry cannot register that !!!!! Wrong
case 2 u can register any mod once done in one state it can be reregistered without engineers paper work in another . Some states still require an item to be re-engineered for state transfer .Wrong
case 3 When is amphibious registration not amphib registration when the rego stops at the water line and you then need boat rego .There are boats with retractable wheels that don't require rego DOH !!!!! RTA again WRONG

swamp
AnswerID: 597540

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Mar 27, 2016 at 12:55

Sunday, Mar 27, 2016 at 12:55
I think you will find case 2 could have some complications ..... there is a clear requirement that any vehicle must be compliant with the regulations in the state that it is in at the time...... there are some allowances for people to drive interstate registered and modified vehicles ........ but there is simply no way a state road authority is obliged to register a vehicle that does not comply with its regulations.
Thus many vehicles may simply not be regiserable in their current condition in another state.

As for the amphibious registration ..... how many of those boats with retractable wheels are capable of full on road registration.
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Reply By: Blown4by - Saturday, Mar 19, 2016 at 12:51

Saturday, Mar 19, 2016 at 12:51
This is not a requirement in WA when such an item is carried on the vehicle although certain other vehicle modifications do require an approval process which may include engineering certification. To be a Motor Home the ADR requires sleeping accommodation, cooking facilities and food storage however this has to be a PERMANENT change to the vehicle in which case the vehicle would be licensed accordingly. In WA if you want a vehicle licensed as a motor home (called a Mobile Caravan in WA) the vehicle body code on the license papers has to be changed to Mobile Caravan which would require an examination (not engineering certification) and as with a Caravan you would receive a 50% discount on the annual license fee due to these vehicles being classified as 'low use'. The reason for the examination is for safety reasons especially if LPG is 'hard plumbed', also to ensure there are at least as many beds as there are seats in the vehicle (another ADR requirement) and to ensure the vehicle does in fact meet the requirements of a Mobile Caravan. If it were possible to change ones vehicle body code by lodging a form 'over the counter' 'everyone' with a sleeping bag, and a can of baked beans in the glove box and a one burner metho spirit heater would want their vehicle classified as a Mobile Caravan just to obtain the 50% rego discount.
AnswerID: 597547

Reply By: Member - Andrew - Sunday, Mar 20, 2016 at 17:39

Sunday, Mar 20, 2016 at 17:39
Hi Chris
The moment you bolted the unit on it became part of the vehicle and therefore the vehicle modification rules came into effect and it sounds like it has become defined as a motorhome. If you had a quick release system that did not require the use of tools then the slip on is only a load being carried and the vehicle description has not changed.
The cattle crate example also mentioned is regarded as a change of vehicle description and is a notifiable modification because of the structural issues involved in bolting it on. PITA for farmers.
Put some straps on for show and don't tell them about the bolts? The straps could hold it on and the bolts are an anti theft device - paint padlocks on them?
The real problem is that the rules didn't consider your situation and I doubt that anyone has actually thought it through as you have. As long as your insurance company knows who else is going to check?
Regards
Andrew
AnswerID: 597583

Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Sunday, Mar 20, 2016 at 18:54

Sunday, Mar 20, 2016 at 18:54
Hi Andrew, I think you are spot on. My thinking went along the same lines. I have two heavy ratchet straps and my plan is to always have them in the vehicle and if pulled over, undo the bolts (2-3 minute job), and throw over the straps. I had not thought of the bolts being an anti-theft device, thats brilliant, I will remember that one, thanks. I usually am scanning channel 40 on the highway so if I hear of any transport inspectors around I will stop, throw the straps over, and won't tell them about the bolts if stopped. As I would only be transporting it I would not have the keys to open it up where the bolts are.

About 6 years ago now I took my nieces 8 tonne Isuzu truck to Wagga Wagga in NSW for its annual registration check and I happened to have the cattle crate bolted on the back. I was told the truck had to be unladen, so I had to take it home and come back latter in the day with no crate. I wonder what would have happened if there where a few welds holding the crate to the tray. Bolting a cattle crate on is a PITA. I know some farmers who find it much easier to weld the crate to the tray, and angle grind the weld off when the want to take the crate off.
Thanks again Andrew, I agree with what you have said and I now feel much more confident should I run into any transport inspectors.
What other people think of me is none of my business.
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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Mar 27, 2016 at 13:14

Sunday, Mar 27, 2016 at 13:14
I amazes me how many people think they are smarter than transport inspectors ...... These guys do this every day ..... ya think they have not seen all this before.
They also know their regulations forward, backward, upside down and back to front .... this is their job.

If there are straps holding a slide on camper onto a vehicle ....... firtsly that arrangment has to be compliant with load restraint requirements ( see the load restraint guide)..... secondly the attachment or bearing points on the camper need to be designed and fit for purpose.


If the camper manufacturer did not design the unit specifically to be strapped on ....... ya pretty much busted.

OH then there is the deterioration of webbing straps ...... pretty much nobody holds slide on campers down with webbing straps .... and the transport guys know this.

If the unit is plainly permanent and has been designed to be bolted on and has been bolted on ...... these guys are not stupid .... ya busted.

As for slideons in general ....... hell I would not have one on my mind ...... many I have seen, their attachments do not comply with load restraint requirements ..... and many more would be busted as soon as they went over a scale ..... particularly if its on a dual cab.

think about it.

cheers


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